The Beginning

The beginning…

07 JulyTony was born and took his schooling in Admiral, Sask. Soon Tony decided he had enough of school and joined the workforce. His first job was on a dam construction crew near Admiral. From construction he went farming with his brother Johnny at Ravenscrag, Sask. and later his Uncle Nickat Eastend, Sask. Paul Guthrie Oil Development Co. Rig #1 moved into the area and he got a job working on it in the Eastend are, the Haywarden area and various Alberta locations. In the spring of 1956 with his 1941 Chevy and bunk house, Tony came to the Carnduff area to work for Charter Driller. It later became Antelope Drilling and then Sedco Drilling.

Tony Day's 1941 Chevy
He began as a derrick hand and later a mechanic. This led to a career that lasted for 18 years.
Tony’s first purchase was a house trailer (7’X20′) and next a 1957 GMC half ton along with a portable welder that put him to work welding and repairing on the rig. Tony also took up re-tipping surface bits. In the summer this was done outside in a cut off barrel and in the winter it was done in the boiler house. Later this job was moved into the porch. It was usually done late at night after a full days work.

Tony's Chevy Water Truck
In 1957 Tony bought his first truck. It was a 1955 Chevy water truck with a mounted 50 barrel water tank to haul fresh water to the drilling rig and that was the start of Fast Trucking. He charged $30.00 for a 24-hour day for this truck.

The next year he purchased a 1954 GMC winch truck with a five speed HD transmission and a 6,000 lb. front axle and a 18,500 lb. rear axle to help with moving the rig.

Tony With Unit 54
This truck was used from 1958 to 1969. Tony charged $7.00 per hour for this winch truck. In its day, it was a very big truck, but at today’s standards it is considered a toy. He mounted a pump on the truck and bought a 48-barrel water tank with skids, so it could be sucked onto the bed of a winch truck and used as a second water truck when needed for “fast hole”.

At this time a surface pit and water tank that held 8-10 of water was the only water storage used for drilling the hole. When the fast hole started you could haul water from 30-48 hours straight. Just about the time the water tank was full and you arrived back with an extra load of water thinking you could have a little break you would find the water tank empty again. It was time to clean the mud tank and refill with clean water.
Tony and Vi Married 1960 12 14
On December 14th 1960, Tony married Vi Bayliss. We made our home at the rig for the first four years of our marriage and lived in our small house trailer. Our front yard changed with every rig move, sometimes it was pasture, summer fallow, or a stubble field.

In 1961, Tony bought a 1952 Kenworth bed truck and sold it 2 or 3 years later, next buying a Mack gin pole truck.

With little previous farming experience, Tony decided in 1963 to give farming a try. That is when our farming division began.

We started our family on June 1/1963 when our daughter Linda was born. When our second daughter Teresa was born on July 20/1964, we moved our trailer to Walter and Marlene Bayliss’ yard. This gave us our first real yard with green grass. Tony continued to stay at the rig whenever the rig was running. Our first son Dennis came along on October 11/1966.

Through the 60’s and mid 70’s the water truck fleet grew to 6 or 7 trucks hauling water on different rigs. We purchased a tandem truck with an 80 barrel tank. This was the last water truck we bought. We had no shop for doing repair work, so changing water pumps, rear ends and performing small repair jobs had to be done on the ground in the snow, dirt or mud.

In 1969 we moved our trailer to an acreage west of Carnduff and added a basement and 2 skid shacks so it would be handier for the kids to go to school and take part in the many after school activities offered.

On September 24/1970, our second son Larry, was born. This completed our family.
Old Fast Shop 3rd edition

Our first shop was a quonset moved onto our acreage. As the company grew we built onto the quonset and added 3 additions to the shop.

In 1972 Tony bought a 1966 International truck and made it into a bed truck. He lengthened it twice, making it a tri-axle. “Gerta”, as it is know, is still queen of the fleet. Tony, Vi, Dennis and Larry all drove “Gerta”, as did many other employees driving for fast.

Tony was asked to move to Edmonton and continue to be a mechanic for Sedco Drilling, but chose to quit. Being a jack of all trades, Tony continued doing welding, repair work, farming & whatever jobs he could with his bed truck. He helped move rigs when needed. He also did some building moving. He moved a quonset from Oxbow to the yard to use for a shop. He moved a pig barn from south of Glen Ewen to South of Oxbow, a barn to Walters farm and a building from north of Glen Ewen to Carnduff.

1-Doxie-25203In 1977-78, Tony decided to start moving rigs with the help of a few trucking companies. He organized the rig moves and did the rig moving and supervising. It wasn’t unusual to move up to 2 or 3 rigs in one day with the same fleet of trucks in 1985. The day didn’t end when the rigs were moved. There was repair work to be done until all hours of the night. Being short of trucks and equipment, everything had to be ready for the morning. He had to be up and going again early the next morning for another move. It is much easier now with extra trucks and more mechanics. If it had not been for friends like Rick Hayward, August Brisbois and Dwayne Peters, we would definitely not have been able to get our trucking company started. Harvey Murray was also a good friend and employee. Often Harvey would help Tony haul loads the day before and all through the night before the rig was scheduled to move.

We did not build this trucking company without a lot of ups and downs. Luckily, we were to have busy times to help us through the slow times. Tony was not afraid to gamble and buy the equipment hoping the times would stay busy.

1-Doxie-001In 1979, Tony bought a cat to assist on rig moves, lease construction and cleanups. This was the beginning of Day Construction Ltd. We added more cats, graders, buggies, hoes and excavators as need arose.

Tony usually found whatever equipment he needed at Ritchie Bros. Auctions. Harvey Murray and Tony went to a lot of auction sales together. Harvey could always count on having something to drive home and most likely having to stop on his way and help with a rig move. Vi’s famous words when Tony left for a sale were: “If you buy anything, I will kill you when you get home!” I guess that never scared Tony.

Harvey bought Vi a paper shredder for Christmas one year and said: “Here Lully, shred the auction sale bills before Greedy gets home to read them.”


Tony really enjoyed auction sales. He and Rick Hayward attended many Rig quipment sales together. When Ricky could not go Tony often went with out him. Tony would always call him and say “anything I can buy at the sale for you?”. Ricks reply was “No! You’ll bring everything home from the sale!”

Tony would have to rush home from Nisku after a sale to be home for a rig move in the morning, but that never stopped him from attending. On one occasion, he wanted to go to a sale, but also needed to have a signed bid contract submitted to Esso in Calgary on the same day. After a day’s work, he and Vi, and Mac and Lana Bonnor left for Nisku. The women dropped the men off at the sale and coninued into Calgary. They hand delivered the bid and returned to Nisku to pick up the men. They got as far as Saskatoon before deciding to get a room for a few hours of much-needed sleep.

On one occasion, Tony was not going to be able to attend a sale, but thought he wanted one of the trucks that would be auctioned. He called Reg Watt (Vi’s cousin) and asked him to go to the sale and bid on the truck for him. Tony said, “If some of the other trucks look good, buy them”. Reg called back after the sale and said, “Tony, I got you five trucks”. That was the last time Tony sent him to bid on anything!

The year 1985 proved to be an extremely busy year for us. We moved 800 rigs, only owning 24 trucks ourselves, but with the help of some local trucking companies, we were able to get them moved. We purchased 5 trucks within six months that year. For comparision, in 2006 we moved over 1600 rigs with 72 trucks.

It was a very wet, tough year trying to move rigs with the equipment we had. Tony decided it was time to build a Sow. We flew to Campbell River, BC to look at a log truck. He decided this would be the truck to use. We had it hauled to Carnduff, Tony called Lynn Stevens from Steven’s Welding at Glenburn, ND to see if he was interested in building this truck. Lynn’s reply was “bring her down.” The truck was then hauled down to Glenburn, ND. It took nearly a year to rebuild this truck. Tony made many trips down and made many changes each time. I’m sure Lynn would say, “Oh no, Tony’s here again!” It was finished and worked very well.

In 1986 Tony formed an oil company, TDL Petroleums, and drilled his first oil well.

The year 1995 saw us out of shop room again. We purchased a 41,000 sq foot shop from Coronach, SK and had it dismantled and rebuilt in Carnduff. It has in-floor heat which is a real treat for the employees.

For 20 years Tony dreamed of putting up a wind charger to generate power. His dream came true in 1997 when he put up a generator. Although the power it generates is minimal, it makes for a great conversation piece! The power is metered back into the Sask Power Grid.

A service rig was bought in 1997 for our own use. However, things changed and a company called General Well Servicing was formed. We have acquired 2 more rigs. This makes a total of 3 rigs owned and operated by General Well Servicing.

In 2003 Tony took on another venture. He began buying rig equipment, repairing it and offering it for sale. Tony and Jim Scott left in January and returned home for a few days only to go back and look at more equipment. Some of the places Tony bought equipment was Brooks, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, High Level, Slave Lake, Red Earth, Peace River, Zama and Rainbow Lake. Tony would stay at the town and call back to the office to send for trucks to haul his new purchases home. We hauled approximately 100 loads of rig quipment back to the yard. Between Tony, Dennis and Brent Hayward, most of it has been sold.

We purchased Sam’s Trucking, Estevan Division, in 2004. It is operated by Bob and Rose Lawrence. They work on a regular basis with Fast Trucking. Sam’s employs 22 men.

Tony has had two major highlights in his career. One was being nominated and choses as South East Oilman of the Year in 1999 at the Weyburn Oil show. He had his first rig moving truck restored for this special occasion. While restoring this truck, a 1968 license registration was found showing the plate cost of $17.00, with cargo and liability being extra. His second highlight was when the community arranged a Roast in his honor as a school fund raiser. The CEC Library is named the Tony and Vi Day Resource Center in their honor.

Tony’s biggest hobby has been going to auction sales, but he did take up down hill skiing at the age of 60, and his only golf game was played in Tennessee.

We are proud to say we are a hands-on team with over 160 employees, 74 Fast trucks, 13 Same’s trucks, as well as equipment and various companies to manage. You will find any one of the Day’s working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Linda is Vi’s right hand helping manage the books, payroll, housework and whatever needs to be done. Dennis used to truck push on a regular basis, however he is kept busy in the shop supervising the repairing and building of equipment and all the employees. Larry began as a truck driver, but moved into the office to help Vi with the phone and permits. He does all the planning of the rig moves, calls the employees with their leave times and dispatches them.

We would like to thank our family – Linda, Teresa, Dennis and Larry; our employees; our customers, past and present and our friends. If it were not for your hard work and dedication, we would not have been able to build Fast Trucking into what it is today. Through the years we have definitely made a lot of acquaintances and very good friends. Thanks to all!